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Follies Of 1950

There’s been so much going on party-wise and fashion- wise this month. And many times it was hard to tell where the style show left off and the “party” began. For several clothes collections were shown in the evening, and turned into soirees when the models had finished flouncing their finery around. Take Dorothy Lamour’s garden party that officially launched her in the dress business. After she finished her cute announcement that she was going into the manufacturing of low-priced clothes for the wholesale market, and after two gorgeous models had exhibited just a few lovely “samples” of the type of thing Dotty will make, most of the guests stayed on and on. Ran into Betty Hutton and Ted Briskin there, and Betty is thinner and peppier than we’ve seen her for years. Lucille Ball and her Desi Arnaz were there, too. Lu was a symphony of color, to say the least. She was wearing a heavy printed satin, cocktail-length gown, mink stole and suede shoes, all of a pinkish cocoa color, and all the identical shade of her hair! Claire Trevor looked wonderful in a bright yellow sheer wool cocktail dress, with matching wool stole. And believe us, the shade didn’t “kill” her blonde hair, it enhanced it.

There’s lots of style news in new combinations of materials, but you can relax about suddenly being faced with any radical change in style. What’s even more cheering, there will be so many and varied silhouettes, that just about anything that becomes you will be the thing to buy. Dressy clothes will get a little more tailored, and the combination of taffeta and tweed or tweed and satin is something new! Imagine tweed going formal, and it has! Patricia Neal has a divine suit of mauve tweed, designed for “dressed-up” restaurant dining. The slim, cocktail-length skirt has flaring hip pockets, but it’s topped with an off-shoulder “waist” of strapless amethyst satin. Over this, goes a small jacket of the mauve tweed, long-sleeved and with that “dressmaker look.” Self-buttoned down the front, the collar of this coat is wide, rolling and loosely low, showing just a peep of the satin bodice, even when it’s buttoned up.

Don Loper’s collection featured lots and lots of glamorous black; Howard Greer went very “oomphy” with afternoon and night ensembles in the lavish and very feminine manner. He loves those big poufs at the sides or back of otherwise slim- lined gowns. But it’s the wonderfully full ball gowns of Greer, Adrian, and other designers that seem to please the dancing lasses the most. One of the loveliest things in Irene’s new show was bought by Ava Gardner. A gorgeous, strapless evening dress, the top of which was a skin-tight black satin bodice, very decollete, slightly heart-shaped in front and trimmed only with a narrow “collar” of the same satin folded flat all around the front. The fabulously full floor-length skirt has great big draped black satin swags descending from the waistline to several inches below the hips at each side. Doesn’t the description of it, give you ideas about the “possibilities” of any net evening gown (of any color) that you might own, and which, perhaps, looks a little “tired” to you at this point?

Judy Garland came back from the East loaded with clothes and a fresh new interest in duds that she hasn’t exhibited in a long time. One outfit (and an absolute pip for traveling) is really three dresses in one. The basic piece is a strapless, short evening dress of a sturdy crepe, the kind that “hangs out its own wrinkles.” With jewelry and elaborate accessories, this version can go to any after-five affair except a ball. Now, this dress has its own snug-fitting black jacket of soft black wool, and can be worn this way to shop or to lunch. The third piece is a stunning jacket of rose-pink metallic cloth and when it’s worn over the dress, Judy has a beautiful cocktail suit.

Sonja Henie tossed one of her “smaller parties” for her new husband. Winnie Gardiner. A small party to Sonja means about fifty people, and how nice it was! She cellophane-tented in the terrace around her playhouse by the pool, and seated her guests at two long flower-laden tables for twenty-five each. The hit of the party was, but positively, the richest, crunchiest, chocolatest, most fattening dessert we ever sunk a molar into! Van Johnson ditched his diet to dive in and so did Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Bob Topping, Ann Sothern, Cesar Romero, Jeanne Crain and Paul Brinkman and the Tony Martins. Lana, who wore almost nothing but white for a whole year once, is now going in almost exclusively for black. She had on a lovely thing of black chiffon and lace this night, and was sporting a gorgeous new set of diamond wing-shaped clips. (P. S. It turned out that the luscious dessert mentioned above had been whipped up by Sonja’s Momma. It took hours, and nobody would give with the recipe, or we’d sure pass it on to you.)

Well, kiddies, Joan Crawford had sixteen (count ’em) extra men at the splendiferous formal dinner dance she gave just before starting to work in “The Victim.” She had the extra men because she was afraid one of those gin-rummy sessions would start after dinner and leave a lot of beautiful belles beau-less. Among her “stags at eve” were attractive Jack Briggs, the visiting Prince Mohammed Pahlavi (who used to beau Rita Hayworth), Mel Ferrer, John Hodiak (Anne Baxter was in Arizona on location), and husky Jim Davis, now regaining his foothold in the movies, after almost losing it with the unsuccessful “Winter Meeting.”

Joan wore an ankle-length gown of pale, delicate beige lace over a toast-brown slip. High-necked, snug basque top with tiny sleeves, very full, gored skirt. This simplicity was highlighted by her blazing diamond jewelry consisting of that baguette choker with its enormous diamond clip appended, diamond earrings, that uniquely set oblong diamond ring of hers, and if we start describing any more of Crawford’s jewel collection, we’ll only turn bright green with envy again, so we’ll stop.




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